In cooking coconut oil was once considered taboo by many in the food and health community because it contains a large amount of saturated fats. That position has changed. Now uses for it in cooking are emerging daily. At room temperature, coconut oil acquires a solid form and can replace butter in many recipes. When heated up, it becomes a liquid and is ideal oil for frying foods.
The uses for coconut oil in baked goods is limitless. In its solid form, it can replace butter and shortening in a wide variety of recipes. Amazingly, it can turn out flaky pie crusts, fluffy cake icings and crumbly scones. This has immediate appeal to vegans who avoid the use of butter. It is also a satisfactory alternative for olive oil and can be used for pound cakes and the like.
Utilizing coconut oil in lieu of other oils for frying results in foods with a rich, almost nutty taste. Some individuals are able to really taste the coconut when eating foods fried with it. Some things that fry well in coconut oil are fish, potatoes, batter-dipped vegetables and doughnuts. Some of the benefits of frying with this oil are that the oil drains away from foods more thoroughly, leaving food crisper and less soggy. It also lasts longer than other oils and can be used over and over again in deep frying.
Because of its sweet taste, coconut oil is perfect ingredient in making candy. The sweetness blends well with most baked goods and pastries, too. It can be drizzled on roasted vegetables for a unique flavor enhancement. Try it on toast in lieu of butter. The tropical taste works well with most Thai and Indian recipes. One of the many uses for it is in salad dressing. A mixture of equal parts coconut oil and olive oil drizzled on greens is delectable. You can add some sea salt and red wine vinegar for flavor contrasts. There is one thing to be careful of though. If the dressing is chilled or the salad is cold, the oil in the dressing can harden. It is best to combine small amounts and keep it at room temperature. Virgin coconut oil is better than the refined varieties which can comprise impurities. Those impurities require bleaching, deodorizing and refining to make the product acceptable for use. Cooking is simply one of a number of uses for coconut oil.
Non-cooking uses for coconut oil vary and cross into personal use as well as even industrial applications. It’s versatility makes coconut highly adaptable and yet not many people are even aware of it. In tropical parts of the world, the value of it has been appreciated for generations and has been an important part of the daily diet. The oil is an splendid moisturizer for dry and damaged hair. When applied directly to the hair and left for about 15 minutes before shampooing, the hair has a luxurious radiance. It can also be added to homemade shampoos, hair pomades and conditioning oil treatments. Another personal uses for the oil is the treatment of skin. It works wonders for softening and healing dry and damaged skin. Coconut oil helps first by forming a protective barrier on skin that helps retain moisture. Secondly, it penetrates deeply to help keep connective tissues supple and firm. Because it is readily absorbed into the skin, the oil helps enhance the appearance of fine skin lines and minimizes the appearance of wrinkles. Lastly, coconut oil assists in the exfoliation process which is the removal of dead skin cells from the outer layer of skin, leaving smoother skin behind.
Rubbing modest amounts of coconut oil on the head, for example, at the temples, can help reduce stress. Knead the oil in using small circular motions and let the aroma sooth your stress away. The saturated fats in the oil can help with the digestive process. It contains anti-bacterial properties which can help with controlling parasites and fungi which can cause digestive problems like irritable bowel syndrome and indigestion. Coconut oil also helps the body absorb amino acids, minerals and vitamins more expeditiously. When applied to scrapes and cuts, it forms a protective shield that prevents potential infection down by shielding the wound from virus, bacteria and dust. It speeds the recovery of bruises because it helps repair damaged tissue. When added to the diet, coconut oil can help balance hormones and induce the thyroid, it increases your metabolic rate which in turn increases energy and can lead to weight loss.
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